I’ve often spoke about my love for Twitter in how it grants one access to the thoughts and almost inner-workings of our heroes and those who inspire us.
Often, the glimpse into their life that’s revealed can be disappointing or surprising.
I mean, who doesn’t love it when Victoria Beckham tweets a photo of herself with a bag on her head for New York Fashion Week?!
For me, Twitter is a unique tool as it also introduces you to new names and faces who perhaps, without the social media platform, you would have accidentally disregarded.
Michelle Sadlier is one such individual.
I’ve been on Twitter for almost two years and have been following Michelle since almost then, not in a stalker-ish way, I promise.
Within this time, I’ve gained a mass of knowledge about both social media and the fashion industry from reading Michelle’s interaction with the stylish domain online.
The ‘Spotlight’ section of this blog is typically a space for those who inspire me. As a Dublin girl who moved to London, I could not think of anyone as worthy or as interesting as Michelle.
Not so long ago, whilst Michelle was the Global Digital PR Consultant for Luxury PR Agency Karla Otto, I had the wonderful opportunity to ask her six questions to attempt to gain an insight into her fashion interests and the reason why social media is an important forum which designers, stylists and bloggers should activity engage in.
At present, Michelle is the Social Media Manager of NET-A-PORTER. (Dream job, I know)
1. How would you describe your relationship with fashion?
My relationship with fashion is professional. I keep music and vintage cars as my personal passions, and fashion as my career choice. My relationship is quite specific too. I love the digital element of fashion, it’s given a whole new generation of creatives a new medium to play with, while it’s allowed anyone in the world to join the conversation of fashion. It’s enabled us to still be local, but with a global outlook.
2. An Irish influence in London’s fashion scene has recently emerged with Angela Scanlon, Laura Whitmore, J.W. Anderson and Simone Rocha each working there.
As an Irish person, living and working in the fashion industry in London, why do you think the Irish are appealing to the fashion domain in the current climate?
Organically I suppose. I moved to London 5 years ago after leaving my role as a PA to Louise Kennedy in Dublin. I knew that I wanted to work in fashion and communications, and after I charmed my way into a job at Bryan Morel PR as an Account Executive, I found myself developing the skillset of a traditional fashion PR. That was until about 2008, when ‘social’ finally hit the fashion industry.
This was when bloggers replaced Editors on the front row. It was a hugely controversial and misunderstood era for the industry. I found myself wanting to know more about ‘social media’. Everyday, I’d spend the morning consuming news on social media, trying to learn everything I could. Mashable was my social media bible. It was from them I began to develop my freelance curation and digital PR consultancy business, working with everyone from Storyful and MEC Global to Karla Otto PR.
4. What impact do you think digital media, in particular social media, has on the fashion industry?
I think the real impact is really yet to come. We’ve spent years of our lives building our social profiles, submitting information about the things we ‘like’ or don’t ‘like’. The amount of social graph data that’s out there that hasn’t been mined is phenonmenal. The company that can capitalise on this will create a new chapter of disruption for the industry.
5. Whilst some brands have embraced social media, others have yet to invest in the technology. For a fashion house / brand, is it an essential means of communication? Why?
Yes, social media is extremely important. As mentioned above, it’s not just another way to distribute content. The power is in how those people connect with that content. The information that you can pull from this is priceless for a brand. Social media is not a ‘thing’ to be considered. Everything is social now and all digital developments should be inherently social if they want them to truly succeed. Often brands considered their ‘social fans’ to be early adopters, and although somewhat true, they should also be considering that these ‘digital natives’ are the next generation and in order to communicate with these you can have to understand their world fully. Someday, that 18 year old digital native will become a luxury brand customer. Just think about how Facebook might look then.
6. Your blog is a treasure trove of inspiring, creative and fascinating fashion / pop culture finds that often has me reaching for my wallet or learning something new about the Internet. What can readers expect from your blog in 2013?
A huge thank you to Michelle for taking the time to speak with me, it was both thought-provoking and inspirational.